The Port Arthur News
For the first time in the school’s history, Port Arthur Memorial has qualified for the UIL boys state 5A soccer playoffs.
The Titans assured themselves of either a third- or fourth-place representation from District 21-5A on Friday night by blanking Baytown Sterling 3-0.
Port Arthur, 11-5-4 and 5-3-2, leads La Porte for third place in the league behind Deer Park and Galena Park North Shore.
“We’re mathematically in for the first time in Memorial’s school history and these young men deserve a lot of credit,” fourth-year head coach Clint Hoverson said.
Memorial led in shots on goal, 19-9, and jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the game’s first 10 minutes as the Titans defense did not permit a shot on goal in the opening half.
Jose Manuel Figueroa scored the first goal five minutes into the game with his heel after taking an assist from Evan Hernandez. Senior Carlos Cisneros followed four minutes later with a 25-yard shot from a most difficult angle.
Hernandez added a second-half goal with an assist from Figueroa with 25 minutes to play.
Cisneros was a major key to the win, moving from his normal fullback to stop the Sterling attack due to the recurrence of a foot injury to Jesus Magana.
Memorial hosts Beaumont West Brook on Tuesday at 7.
Nederland boys 1, LC-M 0
LITTLE CYPRESS — With a possible 38-4A championship hanging in the balance, Nederland senior Layne Smith did the most sensible thing and used his head.
Smith converted a header into the far post from inside the 18-yard box during the 53rd minute to rescue Nederland’s 1-0 victory over Little Cypress-Mauriceville on Friday night at Bear Stadium.
A beautiful crossing pass from junior Dylan Weeks set up Smith for the game-winner against a determined Bears team which needed a win for its playoff status.
Nederland led in shots, 8-2.
“We didn’t play our best game but we did enough to win,” second-year head coach Torrey Gomez said. “LC-M needed to beat us and it was quite a game.”
Nederland now turns its attention to a 38-4A title game Tuesday in Bulldog Stadium against defending league champion and arch-rival Port Neches-Groves at 7 p.m.